Analysis – ‘Last Kiss’ by Overdoz.
This week in blog brainstorming; posts that people may find interesting and/or useful for their own music endeavours…plus a little music theory.
What is always fun is finding out what makes a song tick! For everyone that will be a different quality of the music, for me it’s usually the harmony. Adding one more note to a major/minor triad can add much to the feeling of a song, it can change how our ears hear melody.
Thus, this week we will be looking at a little number by rapping collective OverDoz. ‘Last Kiss’. Initially I heard this tune after stumbling on a youtube video of Pharrell Williams working on it with OverDoz. You can immediately hear the loud choir sample of the un-balanced mix in the control room. Be warned it maybe too groovy for you to handle.
By the time we hear the offical release mix, the choir sample has been shoved to the back, though the piano is loud enough for us to get a sense of the harmony.
Here I’ve added the notated the parts. The song is a 4 bar loop of this progression.
On the first chord, we have an Eb minor 9.
The second, is a straight C minor 7 flat 5 (also called a half diminished).
The third is an interesting one. A little unconventional as a D Major 7 sharp 5 (or Major 7 Augmented 5) however with an A flat in the bass. It works well here, as most of the notes already belong to the Eb minor 9, but with D instead of an F. With the Ab in the bass, this chord resolves nicely back into Eb minor 9. (Ab bass leading a IV – I cadence, and the D moves up chromatically to the Eb.) This is a great example of harmonic tension and release done in a subtle way.
I liked the drums in this song so much I also transcribed them. In what I think is a very Pharrell-esque style of drum production (see ‘Señorita’ – JT etc.) we have muted triangles and cowbell type rim shots in overlapping syncopation over the drums. The percussion in the beat is intricate and gives a part of how the beat grooves, it’s a shame that we don’t hear it that clearly in the final mix. If you compare the official release with video above, you get a great sense of how differently it grooves with the percussion turned up.
To see how I went, I reconstructed the beat in Logic. I think I captured the vibe well! Have a listen and leave a comment below.